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Feb 8, 2001 01:39 PM

The Donut in Los Angeles and Environs

  • s

I have eaten many a mediocrity when it comes to LA donuts. There was a time when I thought that Stan's in Westwood Village was a first-rate donut outlet, but I was wrong. The best I have had are the divine creations sold by the fine people at Primo's on Sawtelle just north of National. Mrs. Primo runs the place with her kind and friendly husband, and they make excellent butterflies, orange frosted cake donuts, glazed raised donuts and melting buttermilk bars. Butterflies are kin to donuts, but their form is more complex. (The bagels sold in the nearby mini-mall on the southwest corner of National and Sepulveda are also fine.) Please let me know where else in southern California light donuts are made in small batches over the course of the morning so that they are always fresh. And make the trip to Primo's--you will not regret it.

NB: I am not interested in Krispy Kremes.

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  1. Have you ever tried Bob's at the Farmer's Market on 3rd & Fairfax? I had a maple bar there which was good but what I keep dreaming of and making the drive over there for is their apple fritter, which I much prefer to Stan's version. It always seems a bit overdone on the outside, giving a slightly smoky taste to the sugar encrustation, while the interior remains lusciously moist and softly chewy.
    From what you say, I look forward to trying Primo's. If you are on a bit of a mission with this: when one looks up Primo's on, as I did to get the exact address (2918 Sawtelle Blvd, near National off the 405, (310) 478-6930), there is a link you can click on for "Related: Donuts," which takes you to a list of 13 donut outlets in the (310). A further link from there takes you to a list of forty or more in the wider L.A. area. Some are the usual (Winchell's, etc), but others might be worth checking out.
    I posted a query about a month ago on this board looking for malasadas (portuguese donuts whose most famous outlet is a place in Hawaii) anywhere in L.A. A reply suggested a Hawaiian bakery which I intend to try but have not made it to yet (see post "Malasadas in L.A.?" for location).
    A recent delicious discovery in my search for great donuts or donut-like foods, was something called "Sugar Toast" -- a sugar-syrup-encrusted, seemingly deep-fried large triangular hunk of freshly-baked fluffy white bread. This was at a bakery in the Japanese Village downtown on Central (near the Japanese Museum and Temporary Contemporary), which had been recommended to me as the place for "the best (white) bread in L.A.-- perfect for French toast". Unfortunately I don't have the name of the bakery, but it's easily found if you go to the Village (it's across from the conveyor-belt sushi place, Frying Fish).
    Keep the board posted on any discoveries you make ...


    1. Try B&H, a Hungarian bakery in the mini-mall on the north-east corner of Detroit and Beverly. They make donuts in small batches. They also make a spiral cinnamon donut with a dense texture. It's the closest thing in taste and texture to a cruller that I've experienced on the West Coast. Only the shape is different.

      3 Replies
      1. re: 2chez mi

        Mmm...sounds good. I've got my computer rigged so that anytime the phrase "small batch" is used in the same sentence as the word "doughnut", an alarm sounds.

        Do they do jelly doughnuts? I'm not usually a jelly doughnut person, but for some reason I'd expect Hungarian ones to transcend. Also, how's their other Hungarian stuff, e.g. strudel, cremish (sp?), cheese puffs, etc?


        1. re: Jim Leff

          Not strictly Hungarian, but when available, their Babka's are excellent.

          1. re: Jim Leff

            I've seen jelly donuts there. They have an excellent rye bread. I haven't tried the strudel.

        2. I see that my comments about Primo's were anticipated by my palindromic pal Mas in May of last year--see the donut string below.

          Allow me to warn any who might try Stan's Donuts based on comments in that earlier string that the center of a Stan's buttermilk bar is often powdery and the fat used to fry a Stan's apple fritter often penetrates deep into the dough--unbelievably repulsive, even for one with a great fondness for deepfried foods.

          1. is Primo's open in the evenings? and if i go there in the evenings will the donuts still be relatively fresh?

            1 Reply
            1. re: kevin

              Primo's hours are
              M-F: 6 am to 4:30 pm
              Sat: 6 am to 3 pm
              Sun: 6 am to 1 pm

              NB: Primo's will be closed Saturday, 10 Febraury "for a little repairs."

            2. Has anyone tried Donut Man in Glendora. I read an article about him and Huell Howser did a show on him. They're famous for their fresh strawberry donuts, which is probably in season now. Glendora would be a long drive for me; would the drive be worth it?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Sweet Tooth

                Although I haven't had a Donut Man donut in quite a while, I remember them being yummy. Their strawberry donuts are famous in the Claremont Colleges (just a short drive down the 210 from Glendora) for being the best late-night/early-morning sweet snack to get you through another couple hours of work - especially when the donuts are still warm!

                I know that even though they might not have their strawberry donuts right now, they do have other seasonal fruit donuts that are also pretty good.

                1. re: Sweet Tooth
                  Mike Crandall

                  I live in Glendora and work in Cypress.
                  My boss just gave me $60 to go buy 30
                  of the strawberry donuts and bring them
                  into work so our dept. could enjoy them
                  without the long drive.
                  I would say yes - worth a 30 min drive.

                  1. re: Sweet Tooth

                    The Strawberry donuts are delicious as are all of the other ones. Since winter is starting they don't have any "fresh fruit" donuts right now, but the ones that they have are still good. I go to Azusa Pacific which is right down the street from Donut Man and my friends and I have made a lot of late night donut man runs. My roommate and I prefer the Cream Cheese donuts (which is cream cheese with strawberry glaze drizzeld on the top of a big glazed donut. Last night our school bought us hundreds of donuts so we could study late for finals. A strawberry donut is really long is your drive?